"Personal theory involves establishing a therapeutic and holistic approach that allows the counselor/therapist to raise more open questions and help the student/client to connect to the open feelings."

Brazilian Silva-Amey, a career counseling practitioner, describes her prevailing theory in the field as “Open Feelings Toward Chasing Your Dreams.” As the author reveals, this personal and professional motto is borne from a combination of three distinctive yet complimentary schools of thought: Person-Centered Theory, Social Learning Theory, and Jung’s Analytical Theory. A strong thematic assumption underpinning Silva-Amey’s work holds that “human beings are born innately good.” Beginning with this characterization, the writer then explores additional related concepts, including personality development, functional versus dysfunctional behavior, the role of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects, and the process of change. The book also covers the therapeutic or psychotherapy process itself, identifies key goals of the discipline, describes the counselor’s role in the process and various interventions and techniques, and examines the social influences upon the individual client. Silva-Amey proposes in detail an “independent study,” utilizing assessment tools of self-evaluation and academic strategies vis-à-vis advising, choosing one’s major, and seizing advantageous opportunities.

With particular emphasis placed on “sensitivity to” various cultural backgrounds, Silva-Amey describes her own journey to the United States as eye-opening, having heightened her appreciation of the diversity in America. In this sense, her book can be considered not only a primer on counseling or even simply the author’s professional theory of the discipline but additionally as a personal memoir. Such melding of nonfiction subsets serves well the author’s work, which is delivered with a candid, unassuming approach, granting accessibility and insight for the casual reader into the world of psychoanalytic theory. Not only does this make for an incredibly interesting read, it does so equally for professionals engaged in academic or career counseling, as well as the everyday adult reader outside the profession. Notably, such a method compliments the high quality of the writing, as well as the content covered within.

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